I think I have never changed my mind about a series as often as I have about Granbelm. It’s been a wild ride indeed. To find out where I stand at the moment, feel free to go read my episode review over on 100 Word Anime.
One this I can say here is that this was one of the most visually interesting episode of Granbelm so far. Although my simple screen captures don’t quite give you the full effect, I hope I still manage to get the basic idea out.
Things started off pretty standard with the conclusion of the latest Granbelm bout. I’ve mentioned before that the Granbelm seems to take on the ambient colour of whichever girl is about to be eliminated. I’ve mostly associated Kuon with white but I suppose that blue suits her just as well. It’s the tint of all her scenes with her sister, at least the present-day ones.
Suishou looks amazing with her hair down. She should really just wear it this way!
I don’t have much to say about these scenes other than they were some of the easiest Granbelm scenes to follow.
This is where things start to get interesting. The colours have been sapped out of everything as Mangetsu spirals. It’s a very blunt effect but did the job. Granbelm being a usually colourful show, it was fairly jarring to see it so drab.
I’m separating the scenes out not exactly chronologically. There was a lot of jumping back and forth between Shingetsu and Mangetsu. In the top scene (the two first pictures) there’s a jump cut going from Magetsu’s empty chair to Suishou sitting there that was really great to see. Very destabilizing and it makes you feel what Shingetsu is going through.
For her part, Mangetsu eventually turns to Nene, always a smart move. You can see that those scenes are the most normally coloured ones of the episode but the camera is starting to take some weird angles. Scenes are shot at distances or perspectives that aren’t necessary for a simple conversation.
And this is where Grandbelm goes into full-on freaky surrealism and it’s wonderful.
Once again we have rain with the same dull grey teal colour permeating everything. It’s actually fairly close to Suishou’s hair colour which makes her seem in her element. The camera is still trying out all sorts of angles but now the framing is starting to get a little creative as well. I don’t have many examples but characters were often just a bit too close to the edge of the frame. It’s an unnerving effect.
Of course, the entire sequence with Suichou’s body slowly contorting and distorting into something very odd indeed was impressive and then followed up by a wonderful partial slow-motion effect that affected on the rain around her. My eyes were glued to the screen the entire time. These are just art house effects you can expect out of any dream sequence but the were wonderfully done.
I have always appreciated how different eye shapes are in Grandbelm and Suishou’s slightly down-turned ones are some of the more unusual. This week, with her head upside down for so long, I really got to appreciate just how rare that eye shape is and how different it looked flipped like that.
What a beautiful night. That’s a really gorgeous blue. Kind of reminds me of the sky in the Grandbelm…oh and look at that, it’s Kuon’s sister! What a coincidence!